Politicians call on police and soldiers to kill rather than arrest

Joint statement of nine human rights organisations

Since the current round of violence started, we have witnessed the serious phenomenon of ‘shooting to kill’ Palestinians who have hurt Israelis or are suspected to have done so. There are recorded and published cases which suggest that this is the worst approach for dealing with the situation, with fatal and necessary outcomes. In cases where the suspects were Jewish, none of the suspects were shot.

Politicians and senior police officials are not assisting to diffuse tension and calm the public. On the contrary, they are calling for citizens to carry their weapons and for the killing of suspects without trial. Moshe Edri, Jerusalem District police commander was quoted as saying: “Anyone who stabs Jews or harms the innocent is liable to be killed.” Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said “Every terrorist must know that they will not survive the attack that they were going to carry out.” MK Yair Lapid said “Whoever pulls out a knife or a screwdriver should be shot to be killed.” A large section of the media has promoted a similar approach and organisations that are supposed to monitor police activities – such as the prosecutor’s office and the police investigations department – have remained silent.

There is no dispute as to the seriousness of recent events and the need to protect the public from stabbing and other attacks. However instead of responding in a manner appropriate to each incident, it appears that in too many cases police officers and soldiers ‘shoot to kill.’ Political and public support for this approach condones the bloodshed of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Instead of adopting punitive measures against the Palestinians in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip, the Israeli government must act to end the daily and continuing oppression of four million people, who live without any hope for change and no real prospects of freedom and dignity.

Signed by:

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel
Amnesty International – Israel
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel
Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights
Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
Physicians for Human Rights – Israel

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Categories: East Jerusalem, Democracy and Civil Liberties, The Occupied Territories

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